State Attorney General Bill Schuette (R) removed former Gov. John Engler’s (R) “name from a list of endorsements on his gubernatorial campaign website at [Engler’s weekend] request. … Engler ‘can’t be involved’ in election-year politics as he helps MSU navigate continued fallout from the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal, spokesman John Truscott said Wednesday.”
“Liberal advocacy group Progress Michigan said Wednesday that Schuette should also return political contributions from Engler. Campaign finance records show Engler and his wife last year each donated $2,500 to Schuette.” (Detroit News)
“[C]andidates and their allies are accusing their opponents of politicizing the scandal. The political implications are doubly consequential as the candidates seeking higher office helped prosecute the case against Nassar.”
“Democrats and Republicans alike have accused Schuette of using the investigation for political gain. Engler’s spokesman told local media that a high-profile raid last week for evidence on MSU’s campus was ‘a political stunt rather than an actual law enforcement action.’ … Former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) … said in an interview Tuesday that she agreed the media presence at the raid was ‘certainly unusual.’ … Ann Arbor entrepreneur Shri Thanedar (D) … said in an interview Tuesday he does not expect ‘a fair investigation’ from the ‘Republican candidate.’ Whitmer said the severity of the sentence against Nassar ‘speaks for’ the integrity of Schuette’s prosecution. But she echoed Republicans’ concerns and repeated her call for an independent investigation by state Michigan police.” (National Journal)
THREAT OR PROMISE? Whitmer said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (D) “is going to be on board in short order” with her campaign. (East Village Magazine)
MEANWHILE, ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. Neither party’s debates have been “entirely lacking” in policy details. (Bridge Magazine)
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Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald J. Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, according to video footage and another person who attended the meeting. In Mr. Cohen’s office on the 26th floor, he and the oligarch, Viktor Vekselberg, discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, an American businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Mr. Vekselberg."
"The Justice Department asked its internal watchdog to examine if there was any impropriety in the counterintelligence investigation of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, after the president demanded Sunday that the department investigate the motives behind the inquiry. Earlier Sunday, in one of a series of tweets targeting the probe into whether Trump associates colluded with Russia during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump wrote: 'I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!'"